Celebrate World Health Day!

DSC_5821Celebrate World Health Day! Today is the day! Show your awareness for health and wellness. Today can be the new starting point for yourself as a personal goal. It can be the day you decide to stand up for anything you believe in, whether you want everyone in the world to be able to have clean drinking water, you’re thinking of becoming vegan, maybe you want to give back to your community and start a garden to help the hungry. Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to take back your health, so you’re starting a new exercise routine, you’re changing your eating habits, you’re going to start meditating, and you’ve decided 8 hours of sleep is what you need to look and feel your best.

Today is the day to take back your health and know that what you put in is what you get out. You can also make a difference in someone’s life just by being there for them, offering a hand or your resources when you can, anything to give back. Health and wellness is something we all need to implement and take back for ourselves, our families, and for the world.

This year’s World Health Day focuses on depression. Depression affects any age, gender, race, in any country, and all walks of life. It has become a serious epidemic in our society. Mental health has been over looked for years and if we don’t take a stand against it, it will consume our friends, families, our lives, and the world we live in.

We often forget that mental and emotional health are huge factors in our health and wellness. Often we tend to focus on what we’re eating, weight loss, and BMI. And we tend to forget to focus on personal time, healing, relaxation, reducing stress, enjoying the simple things, and getting rid of the toxic people and things in our lives that continue to make us unhappy and unhealthy.

Today is your starting point to make a difference in your life as well as someone else’s. Vow to eat one meal healthier, get outside for some movement and exercise, meditate even it’s only for 3 minutes, turn off the tv and go to bed earlier, journal or read that book you’ve been putting off. Find time to heal your soul, clear your mind, and better yourself as a whole, not just little pieces of you.

Advertisements

Teaching Basics to Our Next Generation

mbs esg16There are two things you can teach your kids that they can take with them forever no matter where they go and you know they’ll be able to live a longer, healthier lives. And you can also look at it this way, one day we will be relying on them to help us with our health and wellness at some point as we age, don’t we want them to be able to give us the best opportunity to heal, grow, and live longer healthier lives as well???

I get so excited to do this every year just to see their little faces get so involved and light up when they know the answer or have something to share. Mind you my garden is way behind this year, between a 5 month old added to my mix, a busy studio, (which is a great problem to have) and the continual and constant rain we’re getting; I’ve not been able to tackle the school garden yet. So on our rainy day yesterday I headed to my edible school garden, but of course we were inside with the Pre-K4, Kindergarten, and First Graders teaching them two basic fundamentals of survival… learning how to grow their own food and how then how to prepare it once it’s grown and harvested.

These two basic skills could mean life or early death for our next generation. We’re so on the go and running around we never slow down long enough to enjoy the time we have with our families, let alone eat a meal sitting down together, and to even think of growing some of our own food and then coming in and preparing it and skipping that nasty drive through or running to the next restaurant chain. We owe it to the next generation for them and ourselves (they will be caring for our health at some point in our later years) to teach the simple tasks of growing a vegetable or fruit and learning to how to prepare and cook something wholesome, nutritious, and make it still taste good!

It’s May now is the perfect time to get kids out in the dirt and teaching them how things grow, where food comes from, how they can be apart of it, how they can change their health and be in control of it. A lot of them think the food just shows up at the grocery store or to the restaurant. (kind of like we all thought our parents pulled dollar bills from the trees- if only right??!!)

Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. Start small and if you want a little more help. Grab my kids cooking and gardening book from my site for some healthy recipes and how to start your own little garden with your favorite little one! www.beachpilatesandwellness.com.

Here’s to healthy, happier, longer lives for our next generations!!

 

Get Your Garden On!! National Gardening Month

g seedsApril in National Gardening Month and already the month has flown by and I haven’t gotten too much gardening done! I’m planning on hitting it hard this weekend!! I do have some garlic and onions growing from last year and kale and lettuce have been in for a few weeks, but summer is right around the corner and I’m itching to get in all the fabulous summer veggies!

Weather in the Mid-Atlantic has been a little chaotic this month. 80 degrees the first 2 days of the month and then we wake up to a snow-covered ground the next day. Freezing temps at night and sunny 60 degree skies, and just yesterday was 84 and humid today we wake up to 50 with a chilly rain. Crazy temperatures like this make it a little hectic for gardening and can shock summer plants so be careful for the next few weeks, till it really starts to warm up.

Anyone starting a garden this year? Can even be just flowers! Remember you don’t need a huge space to grow a few things. You’ll be surprised what you can grow in a pot. Try herbs just to start off, or grab a large pot and grow your own tomato plants. Think you have a black thumb?? Try sunflowers they are so easy to grow and will always brighten your day. The biggest obstacle is keeping them away from the squirrels and the birds!!

Here’s to gardening and National Gardening Month! May yours be plentiful this year and bring you good health and some inner peace. (Here’s a little shot of Bearded Irises from Provence, France!!) 

 

How to Keep Your Kids Healthy Now that Schools Back!!

kellan healthySchool is finally in full swing and fall is here, which means cooler days, more time spent inside soon, and that means our favorite people will be sharing sneezes, runny noses, coughs, and every other microscopic cootie out there! YUCK!

So how do we keep our little ones as healthy as possible…here are a few ideas!

  1. Skip all the juices and opt for water more. Flushing their systems and keeping them hydrated will keep them bug-free longer. Save the juice boxes as a treat on the weekends. Get a stainless steel refillable water bottle and send them to school with a fresh bottle of filtered water. Kids not big fans of water. Change it up every day with a slice of lemon, raspberries, or cucumbers. Add some flavor, while adding extra antioxidants and nutrients.
  2. Sideline all the sugar. Sugar is hiding everywhere especially in “kid foods.” Peanut butter, jellies or jams, cookies, cakes, candy, fruit snacks, you name it, it’s in there. Sugar depresses the immune system. Try to avoid the processed sugars and opt for more fresh fruits.
  3. Up the probiotics. Gut heath is so important. They healthier your gut the healthier you stay. They don’t call the gut, “your second brain” for no reason. It doesn’t function when it’s filled with processed foods, lots of sugar, and lots of junk. Probiotics help to boost immunity and help fight off germs and bacteria. Make sure to buy probiotics with live cultures. They should be in the refrigerator when you buy them and should be stored in the fridge when you get home.
  4. Make sure they’re getting enough sleep. It’s the key to staying healthy. A full nights rest let’s the body re-cooperate and heal as you sleep. It also helps with boosting the immune system, mood, and helps with focusing.
  5. Wash hands. Kids hate to do it, but make it a necessity. Always wash hands before eating, after bathroom breaks, being outside or playing with other kids. Try to keep kids from putting hands in eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible. Yeah right! That’s a battle in itself! 😉 Letting them know that how they get sick sometimes help with them thinking about washing their hands more often.

Hope these ideas keep your little ones feeling great and as healthy as they can be in school and through the upcoming cold and flu season. Here’s to healthy kids and happy parents! 🙂

 

Food Revolution Day- Fight for Healthy Kids & Food Education

Photo credit: jamie oliver

Photo credit: jamie oliver

Today is Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day! He’s always been a huge inspiration to me and I’ve been following him for almost 10 years. I love everything he stands for and his campaign to fight for food education and healthy kids is one of my passions as well! Today is his day to get the world involved and stand  up for our children not only in the UK and the US but all over the world.

The generation of children today are at a high risk of dying before their parents. That’s terrifying! Our children are our future and we’re not even giving them the chance to thrive, live healthy active lives, and understand that what they are consuming is slowly killing them.

As a mama of two beautiful little ones, I do my part every day to make sure they are getting the best nutrition I can possibly give them and yes they are kids they want their treats and sweets and I indulge them some times. Life is short and beautiful, you have to enjoy the sweet and yummy things in life just in moderation.

As a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Master Gardener, I’ve made it my mission to try to spread the word on health and wellness, how to grow your own food and start your own garden, how to shop locally, and for the past 2 years I’ve started a nutrition program and edible school garden at one of the local elementary schools. I love being able to be out there with the little guys, and they get so excited to know what is growing, things they can make and cook with what they have harvested, and know that what they are eating is actually fueling their body to run, learn, read, and play.

Jamie’s big thing this year is to make “Squash It Sandwiches.” Simple, fun and healthy food to have the kids get involved and make their own. (See video) Teachers, Parents, Food Revolution Ambassadors, celebrities, and schools all over the world will be getting involved today. See how you can!

Continue reading

5 Reasons Everyone Should Try Pilates…

2014-09-16 05.53.30If you didn’t catch my original post to Mind Body Green you can check it out on their site. It’s gotten almost 13,000 likes! I was so excited to have this article accepted and to see if it travel around the world. I got lots of feedback and some great response so I thought I would share it will all of you guys! Here is the link if you want to also check out their great site of health and wellness! 

Have an injury? Does chronic pain or illness make it hard for you to exercise? Feel like you don’t have a lot of time with your busy schedule? Want to build core strength and long lean muscles? Ready to see your body transform right before your eyes? Pilates is your golden ticket!

Originally invented for men and athletes in the early 1920’s, people around the globe are experiencing the lifelong benefits of Joseph Pilates’ vision and how it can change your body and life forever. Here are five reasons you should try it, even if you’re not sure it’s for you.

1. Prevent injuries.

Injuries can leave us incapacitated for weeks, months … even years. But what if we could use exercise as a way to prevent injuries rather than cause them?

Pilates focuses on your core, strengthening your abdominals and back muscles. Take a second to think about how much you use your core every day without even realizing: to stand up, walk, bend over, even to sit in a chair. If you suffer from back pain, it’s probably because these muscles are weak. If you strengthen them, it’ll got a long way to alleviate current woes and help prevent future pain.

2. Build core strength and long, lean muscles.

For most of us, the core is the weakest part of our bodies, but it’s our center, where all our strength originates from. When it’s weak, the entire body is weak.

Pilates focuses on exercises that constantly engage the core, leading to flat abs and a strong back. Unlike weight lifting that can cause muscles to shorten and bulk, Pilates focuses on resistance and assistance training to work both sides of muscles simultaneously. This allows the muscles to elongate to get that long, lengthened, toned muscle.

3. Increase flexibility, coordination and balance.

Not surprisingly, your balance and coordination come from your core as well. When Pilates strengthens your core, those muscles that control balance and coordination are also strengthened, helping to prevent falls and injuries. Increased flexibility also allows muscles to lengthen and be more pliable so they can bend and stretch further to alleviate the possibility of injury.

4. Pilates is for everyone.

Women, men, children, the elderly, anyone with chronic illness and pain, athletes, dancers, and even pregnant mothers can benefit from Pilates. It builds a stronger core, betters balance, increases flexibility and promotes stability. Pilates improves posture, body awareness, builds optimal health and helps you to move more efficiently. It’s gentle while also challenging. It’s proven to aid with treating and managing pain because low-impact exercises take the stress off joints and bones. There are no excuses NOT to give it a try.

5. You can do it anywhere.

Pilates is so versatile that you can do it almost anywhere: at home, in the gym or studio, in a hotel room, even on the beach! Even if all you’ve got to spare are 15 minutes, you can reap the benefits just from doing warm up exercises. All you need is your own body weight to use as the resistance. Want to up your practice? Add balls, bands and other small equipment to increase the intensity and resistance.

Still wondering if Pilates is right for you? Joseph Pilates once said, in “10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.” Doesn’t that seem like something worthwhile?

Celebrate Food Revolution Day This Friday!

Jamie Oliphoto credit: www.gotchocolate.comver has been one of my biggest inspirations since he was the “Naked Chef” on the Food Network forever ago. Today he’s an educating and healthy awareness icon for teaching children and the public the truth about what our children are consuming in school. He’s taught us the truth about what’s really in our fast food that we continue to give kids, the milk they drink on a daily basis, and the fact that kids don’t even have an option to healthy in school everyday.

As part of his revolution, every year on May 16th he challenges not only Americans but the world that we need to take a stand for our health and what we choose to consume for ourselves and what we choose to feed our children. Love this challenge as a foodie and a farm dinner lover. And of course I don’t need an excuse to get in the kitchen and have friends come over and celebrate with me! I’m sure you won’t need an excuse either!

Check out Jamie’s website to see how you can get involved, go to a farm dinner, throw your own, or how to give back.

Jamie’s Message:

I believe that every child in America has the right to fresh, nutritious school meals, and that every family deserves real, honest, wholesome food. Too many people are being affected by what they eat. It’s time for a national revolution. America needs to stand up for better food!

You live in an amazing country full of inspirational people and you have the power to change things. With your help, we can get better food into homes, schools and communities all over America and give your kids a better future. Sign the petition to save America’s cooking skills and improve school food. It could be the most important thing you ever do for your family. America’s health needs you now!

I’ll be celebrating at the Mid-Atlantic Food and Wine Festival on Friday. Ironically I won 4 tickets to the big Winemakers Dinner at Oberod Estate. I’m so excited I can hardly wait. Stay tuned next week for a blog of all the yummy food and exciting people I get to share Revolution day with! Hope this post inspires you to get out there and celebrate Food Revolution Day. Take a stand for your health, your children, and bring awareness to the changes that need to start happening to make a difference in our wellness and livelihoods.

 

 

 

Celebrate Healthy Eating Week

www.farmfoodieandfitness.comNeed another reason to kick-start your health? This is the perfect week to start with a few changes. As the weather continues to warm and we all long for sunny beach days and the thought of bathing suit season lingers in the backs of our minds, let healthy eating week get you started on the right track to better health and mindful eating.

Finding a few small things to change lead to bigger changes and even larger results. Spring and summer months bring blooming gardens and truck loads of fresh produce. Choose to give up frozen or canned foods and incorporate more fresh. Think it tends to be more expensive? Shop more local produce stands and farmers markets for fruits and vegetables that are seasonable to your area. Learn to cut back on processed sugar, white table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are one of the worst things you can do for your health. Chose natural sugars, local honey, pure maple syrup, and coconut palm sugar are better choices. But cutting back on almost all sugar can even reverse chronic illness symptoms and health issues. Where there’s sugar there’s salt. Salt is highly damaging to your system and health, almost as much as sugar. Cut out processed foods which are high in protein, read labels and check how much sodium is really in your foods; frozen meals and canned foods contain the highest. Try using sea salts as a finishing salt when cooking foods.

Check out my recipe for Homemade Potato Salad! Take traditional recipes and put a spin on them to make them healthier. Buon Appetito!

  • 1 pound red skinned potatoes
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (more if needed)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh chives
  • Fleur de Sel
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • dash of paprika (optional)

In a large pot, boil potatoes with the skins on until tender. Drain and roughly chop with knife. Add potatoes while still warm to large bowl and add yogurt, salt, and pepper. Mix well, allowing potatoes to soak up yogurt. You may need to add more, until desired consistency. Set mixture aside and let cool. Once cool, add in chives and mix again.

 

 

 

 

 

Forming Healthy Habits & Beating Unhealthy Food Cravings

DSC_6002This guest post was contributed by Jesse Andrews who is a fitness expert and who works for Seven Seas. Jesse loves eating healthily and feeling the benefits, but his diet is not always perfect! He tries…

As you hopefully are aware, being healthy (and slim) is a goal that is best reached by adopting a healthy lifestyle – rather than simply crash dieting, as is the term most used.

That’s all well and good, but as humans we aren’t always perfectly virtuous and there are times when temptation gets the better of us. Which is what makes following a long-term healthy lifestyle so difficult.

In this post I am going to tackle the topic of forming healthy habits and getting rid of those unhealthy ones – because mastering your eating habits is the only way that you will be able to consistently stick to your new diet.

Start With Breakfast

Breakfast is perhaps the most abused meal of the day because most people don’t give it much thought. Now personally I don’t subscribe to the belief that it is the most important meal of the day, so skipping it is fine if you want to.

But whatever your preference, form a healthy habit:

  • If skipping breakfast causes you to snack on crisps and chocolate up until lunch then you need to kick the habit or start eating a healthy breakfast.
  • Skipping breakfast is better than eating a rushed, unhealthy breakfast consisting mostly of sugar, so consider fasting to lunch if you can (it’s pretty easy once you make a habit).
  • If you do eat breakfast, make it a healthy one. You would probably be pretty shocked just how much sugar there is in most breakfast cereals and fruit juices.
  • Instead consider whole grain carbs or protein, and if you’re super busy in the mornings, try just having a protein shake,.

Satisfy Cravings

Satisfying cravings is tricky because you are certain to have them and you can’t live a lifetime without ever giving in to temptation. So what you need to do is get the hang of satisfying those cravings without “letting yourself go”.

Learn to know which sorts of situations lead to bingeing:

  • Cravings caused by boredom are more likely to lead to reckless abandon, so these are the types of cravings that you need to resist – don’t give in, go out and do something instead.
  • Cravings are more likely to be satisfied easily when you are in a good frame of mind and are feeling happy – which is all the more reason to be active and healthy.

Drink Plenty Of Water

When you get thirsty it is easy for your body to mistakenly think that you are hungry (especially if you are often dehydrated) – so you need to break this cycle!

From now on, whenever you feel hungry, tell yourself that you are allowed to eat, but first you must drink a large glass of water and then wait 5 minutes.

By doing this, you may find that you are not hungry after all, but even if you are the water will cause you to feel fuller sooner such that you naturally eat less.

Come Off The Sugar

You may not realize this, but sugar can be addictive. Not physically as such, but because your body (and your sense of taste) adapts. If you consume a lot of sugar, or sugary foods like:

  • Breakfast cereal
  • Crisps
  • Chocolates, candy, sweets
  • Pasta
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Fruits and fruit juices

… Your taste buds will decrease their sensitivity to those tastes and they will stop tasting as good. Which also means that non sugary food will start to taste bland! Forming the habit is the hardest part, but if you kick the sugar habit and eat nothing but whole foods for a month – you won’t believe how sweet a simple carrot can taste!

Go Without Occasionally

Intermittent fasting has become a bit of a fad, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it is based on good reasoning and even if you don’t want to following an IF diet you can still get a lot from going without food occasionally.

  • It frees you mentally from the constant “need” to eat and teaches you that you are not a slave to your appetite. Sure, being hungry isn’t fun, but it won’t kill you either!
  • It shows you that a single missed meal won’t send your metabolism plummeting. If you’re hungry but the only food options are unhealthy – it is always better to go without.
  • It resets your appetite and allows your stomach to shrink / recover from constant work. After a long fast I often find that I eat less for a few days but still feel full.

Living and staying healthy is a habit, and all of the tips above are with that in mind. A good diet is made up of hundreds of decisions every week and month, but by focusing on your long-term habits you will soon realize that your daily battles are that much easier to win!

Be an Olympian

Watching the Olympics these past couple weeks still leaves me in awe of all the athletes. Growing up as a year round athlete, I still remember quite well the two-a-day practices, long yard runs for field hockey in the August heatwaves, unlimited gut wrenching suicides for basketball, dry dusty fields, scabbed knees and hips from slide practice for softball, and freezing mornings in the pool for swim team. I can only imagine the training, exercise regimes, diet restrictions, time, mental preparation, and sacrifice the Olympians have to make to chase their dreams. Some sacrificing family, friends, and even children to accomplish everything they’ve set their hearts and minds too. We all can’t be Olympian bobsledders, figure skaters, down hill skiers, or Giant Slalom snowboarders. But we can live our lives like an Olympian! We finally need to start putting ourselves first, taking time for our specific needs, health, desires, and mental stability.

We need to start asking questions about what we’re consuming and where are food is coming from. Focus on our community, support each other, be our own advocate, give back, take time to relax and recharge. We’re letting our number one priority go first. Without your health you have nothing. You can’t take care of your spouse, children or other loved ones, if you’re not healthy enough to care for yourself.

For far too long we’ve let everything else control our lives and it has come back to haunt us, especially Americans. We’ve become lazy, sedentary, technology dependent, fast food junkies, schedule slaves, and insomniacs. Don’t you think it’s time we started to but our wellness, life’s ambitions, and health first before we can’t do anything about it anymore. The number one question I get all the time is “how do you have the energy?” All I can say is I live my life to the best of my ability. I decided to set goals for myself, follow my passions, chase my dreams (even when people thought I was crazy), surround my life with people who believed in me and truly cared about my happiness and wanted to see me succeed. For a long time I kept around the ones that held me back and it ruined myself esteem, my drive, and health. I decided one day enough was enough and looking back I wasted a lot of time that I can’t get back. So now I am motivated to catch up on lost time! 🙂

Also what I put in, is what I get out. I am an extreme believer in what you eat, getting exercise, drinking water, sleeping the required hours of sleep you personally need, keeping loved ones close, having faith, and giving back, make life go round so that’s what I strive to do everyday. We never know when our time is up, don’t you want to live for today and be the best you can be just in case tomorrow changes your life forever? No regrets! So finally live your life-like an Olympian! Go out and change your path, your diet, your health, your heart, your soul, learn to love a little more, use your time wisely, take time to put you first and find your happiness. Here’s to all the Olympians that put their blood, sweat, tears, and all their sacrifices into living the lives they always wanted and chased their dreams to the highest level!